Sheep grazing the pastures of the Causses and under the oak trees is perhaps the image that best represents our area. The local breed have a curious dark circle around each eye, you’d think they were wearing sun glasses! They are a hardy species, raised in spacious airy barns, suckled by their mothers.
The tender pink meat of a leg of Quercy lamb is a great delicacy.
The Quercy farmers were the first in 1991 to obtain the Label Rouge certificate for the quality of their lamb.
“Sunshine on your plate”
Sweet, luscious flesh, tasting like honey : but of course, we’re talking about Quercy Melon!
Each fruit bears the label “Melon du Quercy” guaranteeing Certificat de Conformité quality.
Melon will enhance your skin and improve your night vision – but do you really need an excuse to indulge yourself.
As to the question of just how to choose a melon... Here’s a tip :
The melon should be firm and heavy, the stalk should be ready to drop, (check for the crack in the skin)
The colour is greenish yellow and of course it should smell good.
Walnuts in the Dordogne valley are as emblematic as olive trees in Provence.
The groves of walnut trees form a screen of foliage between river and cliff. Their ranks standing to attention seem to acknowledge the recently obtained award of AOC Noix du Périgord which covers the Dordogne, the Corèze and the Charente.
Not to be missed
A visit to the Musée Eclaté de Cardaillac where the walnut oil mill bears witness to the heyday of the walnut.
On the ground that produces truffles, there is no grass around the tree.
This fungus is a mystery and is picked as an invaluable treasure. Revered by all, the gastronome dreams of it.
However hard they try, truffle farmers are unable to guarantee the formation of this precious fungus in the ground.
The truffle season lasts from December to March, if .....
If the oak trees have been well cared for
If the spring has been rainy and warm
If the summer has seen hot weather and storms
If the dog or pig has been well trained and can find the right place
Then perhaps the aroma of “black gold” will turn heads in the Lalbenque market.
The only regular market in the Lot is in Lalbenque, held every Tuesday throughout the season.
“Cabécou” to the initiated
The small raw-milk goat’s cheeses made on the Causses du Quercy since the 15th century need no introduction. The cheeses, which obtained the AOC label in 1996, are blind sampled several times a year by a jury who insist on all criteria before they allow the image of Rocamadour to figure on the label.
Cahors AOC wine
They tend to be fresh, fruity, easy-drinking wines, excellent with summer barbecues or for an aperitif. There is also a small wine-producing area in the north-east of the Lot, Coteaux de Glanes, and recently, some growers have replanted the vineyards around Rocamadour, producing some very pleasant wines.